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Danny Pudi on that big ‘Community’ movie reveal and why Gillian Anderson is likely excited too

Did Joel McHale really mean to tweet at Gillian Anderson?

By Benjamin Bullard
Community Season 1 Episode 11

When the long (and we mean long)-awaited Community movie was at last confirmed to actually be a real and happening thing, Peacock's late-September announcement marked the fulfillment of a well-known and prophetic in-joke. The “movie” part of the NBC comedy series’ tongue-in-cheek “six seasons and a movie” gag was finally coming true — which didn’t at all hamper the excitement of the many fans who’d kind of been expecting it.

Though the news wasn’t exactly a stunner for the Community faithful, it still elicited a big ol’ sigh of relief from fans after years of halting updates from creator Dan Harmon on when a Community film might finally get the green light. But despite the generally anticipated news that the dysfunctional Greendale gang would at last be getting back together, word of the reunion came as a rapid crash of information overload for most of the old-school cast members themselves.

“Joel McHale started it, texted me,” Community fan favorite Danny Pudi, who played socially-awkward pop culture junkie Abed Nadir in the original series, recently explained to GQ. “But it was truly so last minute. Everything is last minute. I get a text from my agents saying, ‘It’s going to be announced tomorrow morning,’ Then I'm talking to Joel and we're figuring it out, and he's telling me what time he's going to post.”

RELATED: Six seasons and... 'Community' movie officially moving forward with Dan Harmon at Peacock

When McHale did post to Twitter, breaking his version of the reunion reveal with a simple graphic teasing the “…and a movie” catchphrase, his more than 3 million followers might’ve caught an oddly out-of-place name among the Community cast members he tagged. Along with Pudi, Alison Brie, Donald Glover and others, McHale flagged Gillian Anderson (of The X-Files fame) rather than Gillian Jacobs (who as Community’s cat-crazed Britta Perry is, well, of actual Community fame).

Pudi, currently a mainstay of the nerdy gamer comedy Mythic Quest at Apple TV+, told GQ he’s not altogether certain that McHale didn’t know exactly what he was doing when he shouted out the "wrong" Gillian. Maybe he meant to do it or maybe he didn’t, he hinted — but looping in the sci-fi star on purpose would definitely be par for the course for the onetime The Soup comedian.

“…I think [Gillian Anderson] was excited about it, too,” Pudi joked. “All the different fandoms collided for a moment in time. I think a lot of people thought it was a mistake. Who knows? I don’t know even know what happened. But that’s classic Joel. So I thought it was awesome.”

When it arrives at Peacock, the aptly-titled Community: The Movie is set to reunite the series’ original stars, including McHale, Pudi, Brie, and Glover, along with Nicole Brown, Jim Rash, and Ken Jeong. Peacock and Harmon haven’t yet revealed a premiere date, but for Pudi, it’s more than enough to know that the gang’s faltering stab at higher learning is at least back on track.

“[This is something we've been talking about and waiting for and hoping that this would actually take place,” he said. “And turns out the prophecy has come true.”

Looking for something funny to watch in the meantime? Peacock's got plenty of  comedy options streaming right now!